The Non-econometrician’s lament

One for Nicholas!  

As soon as I could safely toddle
My parents handed me a Model;
My brisk and energetic pater
Provided the accelerator.
My mother, with her kindly gumption,
The function guiding my consumption;
And every week I had from her
A lovely new parameter,
With lots of little leads and lags
In pretty parabolic bags.With optimistic expectations
I started on my explorations,
And swore to move without a swerve
Along my sinusoidal curve.

Alas! I knew how it would end:
I’ve mixed the cycle with the trend,
And fear that, growing daily skinnier,
I have at length become non-linear.
I wander glumly round the house
As though I were exogenous,
And hardly capable of feeling
The difference ‘tween floor and ceiling.
I scarcely now, a pallid ghost,
Can tell ex ante from ex post:
My thoughts are sadly inelastic,
My acts invariably stochastic.  

— Sir Dennis H. Robertson


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Nicholas Gruen
15 years ago

When I visited my brother in Cambridge in 1977 he had rights to a computer which was a large formidable machine with a telex machine which was used to communicate with it. I guess it probably had less power than a Mac 128K. But it was a computer and verily it was an awesome thing to behold.

It had a help function. And there was a little in joke. You could type ‘help bus’. If you did it would respond thus:

What is this that roareth thus?
Can it be a motor bus?
Yes, the smell and hideous hum
Indicat motorem bum

The poem continued for another few verses of highly amusing latinesque nonsense, which could be understood by someone who knew English but resembled Latin. It was very funny. Unfortunately one is better at committing to memory things in one’s own language – so the above is all that is left (in my memory and probably the computer’s today).

Paul Hodgson
Paul Hodgson
15 years ago

Nicholas, The rest of the poem “Motor bus” by A.D. Godley is at: